Saturday, November 30, 2013

Apple Dominates Black Friday Sales With iOS Responsible For 80% Of Mobile Orders

Apple products were on many people’s must have list for Black Friday deals. While the general public may be interested in purchasing Apple products, analysts have been paying attention to how they are buying their products.

Apple products not only dominate the sales at many retail venues, but also the way people are making their purchases. According to IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark group, Apple products dominated 80 percent of the orders made online from mobile devices. The group is a "digital analytics platform that tracks millions of transactions and analyzes terabytes of raw data from approximately 800 retail sites nationwide.”

According to the report, the number of buyers who use mobile devices to make purchases online increased by 9 percent last year. Other numbers of not include that mobile devices now make up 37 percent of all shopping traffic, and a total of 21 percent of online sales.

Apple’s iOS led the charge with more than 80 percent of sales from mobile devices placed from an iOS based device. Apple also dominated traffic for the holiday, with 26 percent. Android, Google’s OS, only recorded 11 percent of the traffic. Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS, Blackberry, and other small mobile systems did not generate enough to make note of.

IBM’s researchers also noted that iOS users spent more money than those who purchased via an Android device. In fact, iOS users spent 18 percent more than Android users. The average purchase per order for iOS users was $131.34, while Android’s users spent only $11.35 on average.

Apple has become perhaps the single most powerful force in the mobile industry. With both its own OS and its own line of phones and tablets, Apple has more to offer than Google, Samsung, or any other competitor. The quality of Apple products is perhaps the biggest draw the company has. Owning an iPad or iPhone was once a status symbol; now it is quickly becoming status quo.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bitcoin Worth Its Weight In Gold

Bitcoin is the new virtual currency that has captivated the attention of the entire world. When Bitcoin first hit the world news scene it was in relationship to the demise of Silk Road, the website where consumers could purchase drugs anonymously, by using Bitcoins as the payment system. Now, with more nations recognizing the currency as a reputable means of payment, the currency’s value is skyrocketing.

Bitcoin prices were much cheaper, when a single coin cost $11.00 in November of last year. However, it recently passed the threshold of $1,000 per coin and today hit a high water mark of $1,242. This is an amazing growth rate for the currency, and it has not gone unnoticed by the world.

Meanwhile, gold, which has always been considered a stable form of currency, is dropping in value. It has fallen from more than $1,700 per ounce to a price of just $1,250 per ounce. Gold has registered a drop of around 25 percent so far for the year. This could be a real problem for the U.S. and other countries who’s currency systems are backed by gold bullion.

The Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, said that Bitcoin may be the answer for the future, noting that it “may hold long term promise.” Could it be that we are about to witness a major change in the way that individuals, businesses, and even nations store their wealth. Will our currency be backed by a virtual coin rather than solid gold as it has in the past?

I don’t think that’s what is happening with the popularity of Bitcoin. After all, you still have to use real currency to pay for it, whether its U.S. dollars or Japanese Yen, which both are backed by gold.

Apple News: Black Friday Deals In U.S. & Canada

Apple Inc. is offering Black Friday deals in the U.S. and Canada that mimic the deals offered in Australia. The company will be giving customers gift cards to spend in the Apple Store rather than offering huge discounts on products like the iPad Mini with Retina Display. While this may be a disappointment to some shoppers, it is a smart move by Apple.

In Europe, Apple opted for more traditional discounts rather than giving gift cards. According to Apple Insider, customers wishing to see direct cash savings on new Apple products should try authorized resellers like MacMall, Best Buy, and Amazon.

In regards to Apple’s deals offered via its gift card program, the U.S. package looks to be pretty good. The iPad Air will land you a $75 gift card to the Apple Store, and the standard iPad Mini or iPad 2 will net a $50 card. A MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac earns a $150 gift card. iPod Touch snags $50 and the iPod nano and Apple TV will get you a $25 gift card. Unfortunately the iPhone does not qualify for any rebates or discounts this year.

This swap from the normal discount programs is most likely a push for the company to retain its profit margins. Giving the gift cards will help customers grab more loot from the Apple Store than they normally would, but it doesn’t help reduce the bottom line of what they have to spend.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Apple Launches Black Friday Sales In Australia

Apple has kicked off the holiday selling season in Australia by launching its Black Friday deals. Interestingly enough, there are no big discounts in the Apple Store itself this year. Instead, consumers will be receiving Apple Store Gift Cards with amounts up to A$150, which is equivalent to USD $137.

A breakdown of some of the offers are as follows:
iPad Air = A$75
iPad Mini or iPad 2 = A$50
iPod Touch = A$50
iPod Nano = A$25
iMac, MacBook Pro, & MacBook Air = A$150
Exotics (Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, Apogee JAM Guitar Input = A$25 – A$50

While it seems odd, Apple has not offered a gift card for the iPad Mini with Retina Display.  This could possibly be explained by the inability of the supply to meet demand for the powerful little tablet. Last year Apple offered immediate discounts on purchases from the store. Most of these discounts were in the 10% range, such as a $41 discount for the iPad and $101 for the MacBook Pro.

What do you think: Should Apple use gift cards, or give direct discounts like other retailers on Black Friday?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Apple News - $AAPL May Hit $600 In January: Investor Place

In a report today from Sam Collins, the Chief Technical Analyst for Investor Place, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is predicted to hit $600 as early as January.

Apple's Drop

In the report, Collins notes the numerous times he rated $AAPL as a Sell, beginning on October 9 of 2012, when the stock was trading at $638.

Apple was on a downward trend at the time, which continued through December, when he recommended again that investors sell the tech stock, as it had dropped to $510 per share. On February 28th of this year, he made yet another sell recommendation, giving the stock a target of only $450 to $500 on the downside. At that time, the stock was bringing only $440 per share.

Summer Turnaround

In July, Collins noted that when the stock was near $410 per share, he said, “All shorts should be covered in light of a possible saucer forming. A close above the resistance line at $465 would signal that a long term bottom has finally been established.”

This prediction proved to be true, and in September Collins said, “The bullish saucer formation has continued to develop, a golden cross has formed, and MACD triggered a buy signal. The final bullish signal would be for AAPL to close above the resistance line at $500, but those who wish to take a modest risk could take positions now with a trading target of $570 and a stop-loss at $455. Apple has become a moving target, but a well-placed arrow here could result in a bushel of profits.”

Apple Evens Out

Since September Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has consistently closed above $500 per share. It has remained just under the $540 per share mark, and according to Collins this bodes well for the stock going forward.

He says that a close above the $540 line on a higher volume should boost the stock to the $570 target price set by Investor Place. From there, it is just a short hop to $600, which is the price target he believes Apple will hit in January of 2014.

The chart below illustrates Apple’s movements this year, demonstrating the saucer effect mentioned by Collins.

Whether this prediction will come true remains to be seen. However, in light of Apple’s success with the iPhone 5s and the fact that China Mobile will be launching the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in December, a $600 price target does not seem to far out of reach. 

iPhone 5s Production Ramped Up To 500K Units Per Day

Demand for the iPhone 5s has caused Apple supplier Foxconn to boost its production to 500,000 units per day. With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, the need to reduce the bottlenecks in supplies has increased.

According to reports, the Taiwan based Foxconn has dedicated 100 of its assembly lines strictly to the iPhone 5s. The Zhengzhou factory has more than 300,000 employees working on the iPhone 5s around the clock. 

This big boost in production has helped ease the supply constraints and reduced the amount of time required for shipping a new iPhone. Reports came in during the early stages of release that iPhone 5s customers were waiting as much as 3 weeks to receive their new device. However, that wait time has now been reduced to 3-5 days.

Foxconn has indicated that it is at maximum production for the iPhone 5s, and rumors of Apple’s desire to diversify its supply chain could be leading to the company being unwilling to dedicate more of its employees to the iPhone. If Apple selects other suppliers to produce its products, Foxconn’s share of the pie could get substantially smaller.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Apple Watch Out! Here Come The Windows Tablets!

Apple had better watch out for the up and coming convertible tablets offered by its competitors. Companies like Microsoft and Nokia have launched tablets that are operable through both a touchscreen and an attachable keyboard.

While Apple has poked fun at these tablets, claiming that combing a tablet and a PC in one unit is like combining a refrigerator and a toaster; it appears that the Cupertino company may have more competition than expected from them.

NPD DisplaySearch

According to research conducted by NPD DisplaySearch, the tablet market is forecast to see 19.8 million touchscreen notebook PCs shipped this year. This number is equal to about 11 percent of the overall number of tablets shipped in 2013.

The number of notebooks being shipped has also grown throughout the year. In the first half of the year, these miniature PCs controlled only a 7 percent market share. The tablet makers have been adding the touchscreen feature to their “ultra-slim” PC units, and allowing consumers the ability to use it as either a tablet or a computer.

Which Brands Control The Tablet Market

The one manufacturer that has really embraced the touchscreen technology is ASUS, with one fifth of its laptops now operating with touchscreen capabilities. Sony has followed close behind with 17.6 percent of its notebooks utilizing the technology.

In terms of market share, ASUS holds the largest piece of the pie at 26.3 percent. However, Lenovo, which uses touchscreens in only 7.4 percent of the laptops shipped, has a 14.7 percent share in the market.

Apple Refuses To Conform

Apple seems to be the only renegade company on the market. Tim Cook has firmly announced that Apple will be keeping its iPad and iMac lineup separate from each other. Apparently, Apple executives feel that if a consumer wants a tablet, they should buy a tablet, and if they want a laptop, then they should buy a laptop.

Apple Screen Supplier Accused Of Worker Abuse

Reports are surfacing regarding the alleged abuse of worker’s rights in yet another Chinese factory that supplies companies like Apple, Samsung, and HTC with parts for their smartphones. This time the report focuses on Biel Crystal Manufactory, a company that supplies screens for the iPhone to Apple.

Undercover Investigation

According to a report released by the Students Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour, also known as SACOM, employees must work for all but one day each month. Each workday is allegedly eleven hours long, which equals three hours of required overtime daily.

The report is built from research that was carried out through 60 off-site interviews with employees. SACOM also launched an undercover investigation into the factories owned by Biel Crystal Manufactory. Biel is one of the largest glass producers in the mobile industry, and reportedly accounts for 60 percent of the glass used by Apple in its products. Samsung receives 20 percent of its glass from the supplier, and other noted customers are HTC, Nokia, and Lenovo.

Worker Speaks Out

One worker interviewed from the quality control area of the company gave the following statement to SACOM:

"Biel has a lot of orders from Apple and Samsung. There's no such thing as peak or non-peak seasons in the factory. Almost every month is a peak season, and we just work and work. We have to work three hours overtime every day from Mondays to Fridays, and we work another two full days (meaning 11 hours per day) on Saturdays and Sundays. There is no break at all until we shift duty at the end of each month."

Safety Is Disregarded

SACOM, which is based in Hong Kong, also claims that Biel is not meeting safety requirements set by the Chinese government. Many of the workers who are injured in the factories are allegedly denied compensation for their injuries. The report also claims that employees have been fined for not meeting production quotas or for falling asleep on the job. Other fines have been levied if a worker breaks glass.
SACOM says the employees are forced to sign a blank contract, which is then required to be returned to the company when the worker decides to quit. This eliminates the ties between the employee and the employer, protecting Biel from lawsuits levied in the future.
Suicide is another issue noted in the report, with one factory in Guangdong reporting five workers having killed themselves in the last three years alone.

Apple’s Response

Apple has responded to the report in a statement to Reuters, saying:

"We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Every year, Apple inspects more factories, going deeper into the supply chain and raising the bar for our suppliers. In 2012, we conducted 393 audits at supplier facilities around the world."

Monday, November 25, 2013

Apple Releasing iPhone Integrated Hearing Aids

Apple is rolling out a new product for the hearing impaired that just might make life a little easier for them. Apple has partnered with Copenhagen based GN ReSound to make the first Made for iPhone hearing aids.
According to Reuters, the LiNX hearing aids have been made available on the market, and what makes them extremely different from their predecessors is that they will link directly to an iPhone. Prior models of wireless hearing aids for cell phones were designed to connect to Bluetooth enabled phones via a “streamer” that acted as a portal for the devices.

Low Energy Technology
The hearing aids utilize the same Bluetooth technology that Apple uses to power its iBeacon micro-location devices. It operates on the 2.4 gigahertz band using Bluetooth’s low energy mode. The hearing aids serve as much more than a conversation helper for the hearing impaired. They can stream music as well as be used for calls. The adjustments for the devices are all handled through an iOS app that is specially designed for them.

Competition Heating Up
There are other companies in the mix who are all vying for a piece of Apple’s market, and similar products are being developed. Starkey Technologies of Minnesota, and William Demant of  Smørum, Denmark are also expected to release devices, although no official announcement has been made.

Apple Is Striving To Improve The World
Apple has dedicated a lot of resources to the project, trying to help hearing impaired people find a device that is useful for their lives in the iPhone. Both Apple and GNReSound personnel have made trips across the water to refine the devices and make them longer lasting in terms of battery usage.

Apple will be retailing the hearing aids at a cost of just more than $3,000.00 each. While this might seem like a premium price for hearing aids, to an iPhone owner who is hearing impaired, it just might be an answer to prayer.

It Appears That Apple Does Indeed Own Beautiful & Sexy

Samsung lawyer Bill Price may have given Apple a whole new appeal to the market with his closing statement in the Apple VS Samsung patent infringement case.

Price’s closing statements indicated that Samsung felt that although some of Apple’s patents had been copied, they were not necessarily patents that should only apply to the iPhone. Price said, “Apple has tried to mischaracterize these patents so they are the iPhone. These patents are very narrow…Apple doesn’t own beautiful and sexy.”

That final sentence could be taken as an admission that Samsun simply did not have the design talent to build a phone that was sleek and appealing, the way the iPhone has been since it first debuted. It almost sounds like Price is admitting that Samsung was defeated in trying to engineer its own line of beautiful smartphones, so it poached Apple’s design for its own devices.

It appears that the technical genius behind the iPhone is not all that Samsung and other Apple rivals hope to overcome. Rather, instead the aesthetically appealing design of the unit, coupled with its intense versatility holds sway over competitors.

Many of those who delve into the technical realm would disagree that Apple has great success due to its marketing, but rather choose to believe that it is merely the technical beauty of the product that sells. However, even the most technical minded person would have to agree that Apple’s product design is very beautiful and appealing to the public.

While the engineers may find it hard to believe that many people flock to the attractive design of the iPhone, iPad, and other Apple products without knowing the full technical capabilities of them, it happens every day. In fact, the average consumer probably uses less than 50 percent of their iPad’s true capabilities, choosing simply to surf the web and play games.

I guess, when you get right down to it, Apple does own beautiful and sexy…and owns it well.

Apple Rumors: iWatch & A larger iPad On The Horizon


The iWatch is a fabled product that Apple buffs have been hinting about for several years. The idea of a wearable piece of technology that can help your fitness routine, provide music, and allow you to check your email without ever causing you to lose track of time, is a tempting thought at the least. Now, there could be evidence that Apple truly is developing such a product.

According to a report by DigiTimes, Apple has tapped the services of Taiwan based Quanta computers to develop the iWatch and production pilots are already underway. The device has been pushed back from the first quarter of next year to the second according to the report because of low yields. Foxconn has also been invited into the project, but the split between the two companies is as of now undetermined.

Jumbo iPad

Quanta will also be responsible for building Apple’s new iPad, which is rumored to have a 12.9 inch screen.  According to the report, the company expects supplies of the larger scaled tablet to be limited due to the fact that components for a tablet of this size are not currently available in the mainstream market. This means there could be a supply constraint until the idea of larger tablets catches on with component manufacturers. The new larger iPad will most likely be used in the education and business fields, rather than for personal home use.

Read the entire report here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Apple Confirms PrimeSense Deal

Well, Apple has finally made its acquisition of PrimeSense, the Israeli company that builds 3D vision sensors for machines like the X-Box Kinect. According to reports, the company was purchased for a price in the neighborhood of $360 million.

Krisitn Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman, confirmed the deal, but did not divulge what Apple plans to do with its new acquisition. She said, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” This answer is altogether typical of Apple Inc., as Tim Cook never likes to tip his hand in the middle of the game.

Apple could utilize the technology from PrimeSense in many different ways, as the company has moved away from its original sensor program that built large pieces, similar to the one in Kinect. The company’s new line of sensors, like the Capri, would work well for mobile devices.

PrimeSense is the perfect acquisition for the Cupertino company, as it will give Apple a direct line on motion sensitive sensors for its new products, which could include an Apple TV and an iWatch. I guess we will have to wait and see what the tech giant does with its new toy, although it’s highly likely that Tim Cook would like to find a way to use it to boot Samsung from the market for good.

iPad Mini With Retina VS Google Nexus 7: Holiday Comparison

The holiday season promises to be a busy one for companies in the tech sector. Each year, the hottest item on many people’s wish list is a tech gadget, such as the latest smartphone or computer. This year, two of the most desirable items in the mobile sector are the Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display and Google’s Nexus 7 tablet.
Both of these tablets have a lot to offer, and while the iPad Mini is definitely receiving a lot of hype, the Nexus 7 is nothing to sneeze at when comparing the two.

iPad Mini with Retina Display
This tablet, which is the second generation iPad Mini, sports a 7.9 inch screen with Apple’s super clear Retina Display.  The tiny screen contains more than 3.1 million pixels, allowing for crystal clear image and video display. This number is more than 1 million pixels higher than the amount found in a high definition TV.
The iPad Mini with Retina Display is priced at eight different price points. The Wi-Fi only models start at $399 for the 16GB and increase $100 in price for each step up in memory size. The internal memory packages available are 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. For the Wi-Fi plus cellular models, the price points start at $529 and increase in $100 increments to $829 for the 128 GB model.

Google Nexus 7
Google’s revamped Nexus tablet is in its 7th generation, and the new model is quite attractive. It comes with a 7 inch display that delivers high quality HD video and images. The Nexus 7 is available in 16GB and 32GB models, and comes with 1GB RAM. It also sports an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor.
The Nexus 7 runs on Android Jellybean 4.2, has a built in GPS tracker, and a 1.2 megapixel forward facing camera. This powerful little tablet can connect via WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC (Android Beam) to other devices. It can also connect to the World Wide Web via WiFi and a data connection through a cellular provider.
The 16GB model of the Nexus 7, which connects only via WiFi to the Internet, is priced at just $229. The 32GB model that is WiFi only is just a $40 jump up to $269. The 32GB WiFi, LTE, and HSPA capable model is priced at just $349.

Pricing May Be The Key To Big Holiday Numbers
With Google offering its Nexus 7 tablet at a much more affordable price point that the iPad Mini, Apple will find some stiff competition this year. Many people will be opting for the money saving purchase of the Nexus 7 over the more premium features of the iPad. However, there will be the faithful following that Apple has created which will purchase the iPad Mini with Retina Display, simply because it is an iPad.

What will you be purchasing this year for Christmas? Tell us in the comments below.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Samsung May Have iPhone’s Retina Display By The Apples

Apple has made a big deal of its Retina Display capabilities with the iPhone 5S and the iPad tablet line. The resolution on these devices is extremely sharp, at 1136 x 640, and it presents crystal clear images and videos. However, a new report says that Samsung may have a new technology through Qualcomm that tops Retina with a resolution of 3840 x 2160.

The report, written by Nigram Arora, an engineer and nuclear physicist, details his opinion that this new technology from Qualcomm could give Samsung and other mobile handset manufacturers a one up on Apple. The only way for Apple to prevent this from happening is for the company to develop a new display that meets or beats the specs of the Qualcomm device.

Read the full report here.

Apple News: Foxconn To Sink $40M Into New Pennsylvania Factory

Foxconn, Apple’s largest supplier of parts for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, is planning to open a factory on U.S. soil. The Taiwan based electronics company is planning on investing $40 million in the state of Pennsylvania for a new facility and for research and development.

The Plan
According to reports, Terry Gou revealed the plan this week to invest $30 million in a new facility in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This new factory will be responsible for assembling components for telecommunications equipment and Internet servers.
The remaining $10 million of the $40 million proposed for the project will be spent on research and development at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Rumors Confirmed
The announcement confirms rumors from last year that suggested Gou had plans for expansion on U.S. soil. There is no definite answer as to whether the American factories will be handling any Apple products at all. But, there will be an added benefit to the Harrisburg community, with approximately 500 jobs to be added to the 30 that are currently provided by Foxconn.

Corporations Catching Heat For Far East Labor
Foxconn officials mentioned last year that the idea of making some of their products in America was interesting, simply because there is a strong demand for it from American consumers. The electronics giant already had plans in action for a training program for U.S. engineers through MIT.
Large corporations like Apple have come into the microscope of the press lately regarding the labor practices of their suppliers. With some critics pointing out horrible working conditions and poor living arrangements for factories in China, a move to the U.S. would be a good one in terms of publicity.

Apple has responded to consumer complaints by making a promise to consumers that its top of the line Mac Pro desktop computer entirely in the U.S. The assembly of the Mac Pro will be completed by Flextronics in Texas, while Foxconn will be relinquishing the duties to the American company.

iPad Mini With Retina Display Now Available In NY Apple Stores

Apple has launched its walk-in sales for iPad Mini with Retina Display in its retail stores in New York. Aside from the retail stores, some partnering wireless carriers in the region are also beginning to anno iPad Mini With Retina Display Now Available In NY Apple Stores
Apple has launched its walk-in sales for iPad Mini with Retina Display in its retail stores in New York. Aside from the retail stores, some partnering wireless carriers in the region are also beginning to announce that the tablet is available. This could be the start of a wide reaching rollout for the new tablet.

New York Stores First
The NYC stores were the first on the list to get the tablets in large enough quantities to allow walk-in sales. Brian J. White of Cantor Fitzgerald wrote a note to investors this morning that said that the Upper West Side location, Chelsea, and the downtown Fifth Avenue location have the tablets in stock. None of the other stores in or out of the city have a supply of the miniature iPads in stock.
White is a very dedicated Apple watcher, and he predicted earlier that Apple would launch walk-in sales of the iPad Mini with Retina Display this week. Now he thinks that Apple will launch the tablet in more locations next week. This will be Apple’s big score for Black Friday preparations.

The iPad Mini with Retina Display is also becoming available at select carriers in the United States. Bluegrass Wireless in Kentucky announced that the tablet was immediately available earlier today. C-Spire Wireless and U.S. Cellular have indicated that both of them should have the tablet in stock by the end of November.

Quiet Launch

Apple’s nearly silent launch of the iPad Mini with Retina Display was highly uncharacteristic of the Cupertino company. Normally, new products are launched with much fanfare and a public event. The launch for this tablet took place at midnight with a subtle change to Apple’s retail website. Many analysts still believe this was due to the limited supply of the tiny tablets.  

Apple Launches Life on iPad & Gives Consumers A Unique Look At The Tablet

Apple’s newest web page gives consumers some insight into the many ways that the iPad can be utilized in everyday life. It features stories that explain how people around the world use iPad to help them in their careers, from Broadway to underwater photo taking.
The page contains 6 stories in all, and each of them is remarkably different from the last one. All 6 of the stories explain a unique usage that particular businesses or individuals have found to utilize iPad in their daily routine.

Siemens Energy is one of the leaders in wind energy technology, and the story of Siemens and iPad working together to bring power to America is pretty amazing. The story explains how workers on Siemens’ massive projects would often need manuals and blueprints brought 250 feet up into the air via crane in order to get the information they needed to complete the project.
However, with iPad that all changed. Now, the information is right at their fingertips, with apps, email, and hard drive storage for all of the blueprints and documents they once had to carry.

This is just one of the stories found on the Life on iPad page on Apple’s website. Check the rest of them out, and prepare to be amazed at just how versatile these little tablets can be.

We're Back!

After 4 days of dealing with the flu, we am finally back and able to write again. We apologize for the lack of news over the last few days, and we will make up for that over the next few days.

However, I am back now, and I plan to have some great content today. There are some really good stories surfacing in the Apple community, so watch for our posts, as we give you the best stories right here!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Apple Given Permission To Land The Spaceship: Cupertino Approves Campus

The Cupertino City Council delivered a vote that was unanimous in its decision to approve Apple’s new campus. In return, the city also voted to hack 15 percent off of the tax break that Apple currently receives from the city.

Cupertino Keeps Apple Alive
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is America’s richest company by market capitalization. Last year, the company reported a net income of $41.7 billion, which is a complete 180 degree turn-around from 1997, when Apple was on the verge of failing. During this tough time in Apple’s history, the city voted to give the company a break. The measures taken to help ensure Apple’s success included returning 50 percent of the taxes that Apple generated through business to business sales. This was the city’s way of making sure that Apple not only survived, but also stayed in Cupertino, a move that has most definitely proven profitable for the city in recent years.
The new terms will reduce the amount of taxes returned to just 35 percent, which means that the Cupertino residents will only pay Apple $4.4 million to retain its Cupertino address, based on 2012 tax revenue.
Mayor Orrin Mahoney said on Tuesday that, “There will be short-term and long-term impacts from this new development. And as part of our negotiations, this change was just one way that Apple could continue to help us out in the long-term. This will give us some additional revenue, which will be nice to have.”


So, Apple gets to build the campus that Steve Jobs had envisioned several years in the past. Cupertino gets to keep the most valuable company in America within the safe confines of its tax barriers and gets an increase in revenue from the tech giant. Not a bad day for all parties concerned.

Monday, November 18, 2013

iWatch Will Have To Out-Perform Samsung Galaxy Gear

Rumors of Apple being in the development stages of a wearable smart device, which has been labeled the iWatch, have been circulating for quite some time. Those rumors have grown considerably more popular in recent days.

Galaxy Gear Is A Flop
Apple’s arch-enemy, Samsung, released its version of an iWatch in September. The Galaxy Gear was launched amid fanfare and advertising, which led many to believe the device would be a popular piece on consumer shopping lists. However, as of now, the device is a flop as far as sales are concerned.

Since the device debuted at the end of September, it has recorded approximately 50,000 sales. This number is well below what the company expected to sell, and everyone knows it. BusinessKorea said on Monday that the daily sales of the Galaxy Gear are in the 800 to 900 unit range. The publication notes that this is “far below initial expectations.”

Part of the reason for low sales is the fact that many of the initial reviews of the product slammed it pretty hard. The major faults noted in reviews were the high price of $300, the short battery life, and the initial limitation of connectivity with only the Galaxy Note 3. The last issue was later resolved, with support for the Galaxy S3, S4, and Note 2 being added to the device.

Apple’s Plans
According to the rumor mill, Apple will be releasing an iWatch next year. The difference between Apple’s product and the Galaxy Gear is that Apple’s product is rumored to center around the physical health of its owner. With special biometric sensors, the iWatch may be able to offer valuable feedback regarding the medical conditions of the wearer.

All of this is still conjecture at this point, as Apple has not yet conceded that an iWatch is in development. However, the rumor mill, although sometimes missing the mark, is for the most part a fairly reliable source.  If the rumors do prove true, then Apple will have to make sure the iWatch outperforms the Galaxy Gear, or the company could end up with time on its hands.

Tiny AppleBytes will keep you updated as we learn more about the iWatch.

Is Sapphire The Answer For iPhone 6?

Apple Inc. has a new love that may only be exceeded by its love for clean energy. This new love is sapphire glass, and it could just be the next big thing when it comes to smartphone screens.
Sapphire glass is made through a process that takes more than two weeks to complete, and requires the ingredients to be heated to 2,100 degrees Celsius. The end result is a product that is virtually scratch proof. The video below explains how the process works.

Apple’s Arizona Glass Factory
Apple has invested heavily in a new factory in Arizona that will manufacture sapphire glass for its new display screens. The agreement Apple signed with GT Advanced Technologies to produce the glass involved Apple paying $578 million in advance to the company. The factory will reportedly create 2,000 jobs in the Mesa area, including the construction jobs involved with building the facility. In theory, sheets of sapphire could be sliced thinner than a human hair, which would make it the most lightweight, durable screen material ever invented.

How Does Sapphire Compare To Gorilla Glass?
The cost of sapphire compared to manufacturing Corning’s Gorilla Glass is nearly ten times more expensive. The reason for this is partially that Gorilla Glass has already been around for a while, so the process for manufacturing it has been streamlined. However, sapphire glass is a brand new item on the market, and is sure to be a hot commodity for a while. The cost for a smartphone screen made out of Gorilla Glass is in the $3 price range, while a sapphire glass screen will cost closer to $30. Estimates say that once production of sapphire becomes more commonplace, the cost will be reduced to only three to four times that of Gorilla Glass.

iPhone 6
Apple is rumored to be prepping the iPhone 6 to launch sometime next year. According to reports, the phone will utilize sapphire glass for its display screen, which is highly believable. At the current time, Apple uses sapphire glass on its iPhone 5s, but only for the Touch ID button, not the whole screen. If the iPhone 6 sports sapphire glass as its full display, then the cost of the model will most likely be raised to cover the cost of the added glass. However, demand is almost guaranteed to be extremely high, given the indestructible nature of sapphire glass.

Tell us what you think. Will the iPhone 6 have a full sapphire glass display? Leave your comment below and share your opinion with others.

iPad Mini Retina Display Lacks Color Depth Of iPad Air

Image From

The iPad Min with Retina Display has been a much hyped device, and Apple Inc. is set to sell a lot of them this holiday season. However, there seems to a be a couple of minor issues that tag along with the tiny tablet computer, and both of them are tied to the display.

Image Retention
The first issue noted by reviewers of the iPad Mini with Retina Display is that some of the units suffer from minor cases of image retention. We reported last week that this issue had been noted by several consumers on Twitter, as well as multiple blogs around the web. However, while iPad Mini owners could return the units for new ones, the issue is not a threat to long term usage of the device. Also, image retention is not the same as burn-in noted on LCD screens, where the image is permanently etched. The image retention associated with Retina Display iPad Minis is temporary.

Color Depth
The second issue with the new iPad Mini’s display is coming to the forefront today, as noted by The Retina Display on the new iPad Mini is not as rich in color as that of its big brother, the iPad Air. In fact, the color difference can easily be seen when compared side by side.

Why Is The Color Gamut Different From The iPad Air?
The iPad Mini with Retina Display uses the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as the iPad Air, but it is in a much smaller screen, which makes it the densest display of any Apple device in terms of pixels. The text and graphics appear to be sharper and clearer than ever before.
So, if the display is sharper, why the issue with color saturation not matching the iPad Air? This is easily explained by the fact that Apple simply used the same color gamut for the new iPad Mini with Retina Display as it did for the previous iPad Mini. While the display is as high definition as you can get from Apple, the color range doesn’t tout the same quality as the picture sharpness.

What Does This Mean For Apple?

This could prove to be a marketing problem for Apple, as there are other tablets in the same price range that do offer the more dense color coverage. While Apple is a premium brand name that people love to buy, consumers expect the brand to live up to its premium price tag as well. Unfortunately, for some consumers, the iPad Mini with Retina Display simply won’t be worth the cost because of issues like image retention and poor color density.

Apple’s Solar Farms Are A Clean Energy Icon

Apple Inc. is a big supporter of clean energy, and that is not a big secret in corporate America. Apple is reportedly planning a huge new data center that will run entirely on clean energy, as we reported last week. The company has been noted by multiple sources to be very active in promoting cleaner electricity and fuel sources for not only its own data centers, but for the rest of the world as well.

In North Carolina, Apple took an unprecedented step by building its own fuel cell farms and solar farms to create clean energy for its data centers there. While Google and Facebook both support clean energy, and have requested the means to purchase electricity from clean sources, Apple is the only company to actually do something to better the world surrounding its data center.

GigaOM reporter Katie Fehrenbacher has an exclusive look at Apple’s data center and the energy that powers it. The report is both interesting, and compelling. Read the entire article here.

iPhone 5C Production At Foxconn Factory Scrapped For iPhone 5s

Foxconn is easily one of Apple’s largest suppliers when it comes to the iPhone5. The company has been one of Apple’s go-to suppliers on almost every major project involving the iPhone, and its size and scale make it the perfect manufacturer for Apple’s flagship product.

All of these facts come to mind now that rumors are circulating that Foxconn is going to reduce iPhone 5c production at its factory in Zhengzhou, which is located in northern China. The company is not breaking ties with Apple, but is rather shifting its focus over to the more expensive iPhone 5s. According to a report by DigiTimes, which cites unidentified “industry sources,” Foxconn will be cutting back on production of the iPhone 5c, so that more of the iPhone 5s units can be manufactured and sent out the door.

As of right now, Foxconn handles roughly 30 percent of Apple’s iPhone 5c orders, while the other 70 percent is handled by Pegatron Technology. Pegatron’s production of the iPhone 5c has also been reduced since the device first went on sale in September of this year.

This is the first time ever that Apple has launched two separate iPhone models, with the iPhone 5c coming in a variety of colors and a plastic case. The iPhone 5s sports a much sturdier aluminum casing and is the exclusive device that has the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that allows only the phone’s owner to have access. While the iPhone 5c is cheaper, the more costly model seems to be the favorite with early purchasers. However, several people have predicted that the iPhone 5c will see its own share of success in the long run. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Is Apple Gaining 3D Vision?

Rumors have begun to circulate that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has purchased PrimeSense, an Israeli company that manufactures chips. These chips have a special purpose, as they allow machines to view scenes in 3D. According to a report from the Calcalist financial newspaper, Apple purchased the Israeli company for $345 million, or 213 million pounds. The paper did not list its sources, and PrimeSense and Apple have yet to confirm that the deal went through.

According to a spokesperson for PrimeSense, “We are focused on building a prosperous company while bringing 3D sensing and natural interaction to the mass market in a variety of markets, such as interactive living room and mobile devices. We do not comment on what any of our partners, customers, or potential customers are doing, and we do not relate to rumors or recycled rumors.”

The chips that PrimeSense manufactures allow machines to scan a scene, such as your living room, in three dimensional views. This technology was used in Microsoft’s X-Box Kinect, which allows you to control video games using nothing but your body motions.

If Apple did indeed purchase PrimeSense, it would be a great move that would boost Apple’s ability to build interactive devices that would help control basic home functions. With this technology paired with Apple’s current programmable devices, the possibility for 3D chip usage reaches far beyond gaming and into the world of a truly universal remote.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Apple Dictionary Causes Friction: What Does Gay Mean?

Apple Inc. has been in the limelight for several days now regarding its dictionary app. It appears that the app contains some definitions that people may find offensive. The word “gay” is defined by the Apple dictionary in iOS 6 with several different descriptions. One of the descriptions is “foolish; stupid,” and this description is the one that has at least one Apple customer riled up.

Who Wants A Bite Of Apple?

15 year old Becca Gorman is a tenth-grade student in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Gorman is the daughter of lesbian parents, and because of this is sensitive to slurs and discrimination based on sexual preferences.  She looked up the word “gay” in her MacBook Pro, which has the dictionary app built in from the factory. The definitions she found triggered an instant response of disgust.

The definition upset her so much that she wrote a letter to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, who is openly gay. In the letter, she asked why Apple allowed such a definition in its dictionary, when the company takes such a strong stand on gay rights and equal treatment.

Part of the letter is included here:

I assume that you are a pro-gay company, and would never intend for any one of your products to be as offensive as this definition was. Even with your addition of the word informal, this definition normalizes the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word “gay”. ... When I look at this definition it makes this hatred filled use of the term as something as okay as “dude”.

I am asking for you to remove this definition from the Dictionary you are promoting, or to make a significant change to it. I also think it would be a good idea to apologize to the gay community, a good amount of your customers. Thank you for your cooperation, I love your products.

Is Apple To Blame?

I think the real question to ponder here is not whether Apple should remove the definition, as it is a very common usage of the word; but rather, why is this worth making a big stink over in the first place? I understand that no one should be picked on for their race, sexual preference, or religious preferences, but is this really bigotry in action?

First of all, Apple did not write the dictionary, so asking them to alter someone else’s work makes no sense whatsoever. To ask a company that distributes a book (or e-Book) to alter that book just because you disagree with something it says is asking them to change something they have no right to change. Just because you may not agree with something does not make it wrong. However, if you’re dead set that you must have your satisfaction in this matter, then the company that wrote the dictionary should be your point of contact, not the middle man who distributes it.

I understand that the young lady who wrote the letter to Apple believes she is standing up for her moms’ rights as lesbians. I am in no way tearing down her efforts to protect her family and friends. I do however, believe the battles should be chosen a little more carefully, as this one is simply disagreeing with fact. 

Fact 1: People do use the word “gay” in the sense mentioned in the dictionary app. Fact 2: Removing it from the app will not make people use it any less – it simply hides the truth from others who might read the definitions. Fact 3: Depriving people of truthful information regarding the use of a word, even if that usage offends you, does not do anyone in the world a service.

Look up any curse word you want in the dictionary app, and note that its original usage is no longer what it is used for in common conversation. However, if I write to Apple, Google, or even Webster’s and ask them to remove the slang definitions I consider to be offensive, I would be laughed at and publicly humiliated. Before we start asking people to change definitions because they offend us, let’s ask instead that we not be so easily offended by the truth.

Apple Maps Is Navigating Its Way To A Brighter Future

Remember when Apple Inc. released its Apple Maps app last year? It didn’t exactly perform well – in fact it was a total flop. The idea was to push Google out of iOS, by displacing Google Maps with Apple’s own navigation system. Instead, Apple and Tom-Tom, which is the company Apple used to get the mapping data for the app, were both made to look foolish.

Entire cities were in the wrong locations on the app. Airports completely disappeared, and bridges fell into dark canyons in the 3-D rendering mode. The whole incident resulted in Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, making a public apology to customers, and then recommending that Apple iPhone users utilize Google Maps until the problems were solved.

Apple May Be Finding Its Way Back

Google Inc. was no doubt satisfied to see Apple struggle and fall on its face, after the Cupertino company rushed to get its mapping application built and into the hands of users. However, new data suggests that Apple may get the last laugh in this particular joke fest.

According to comScore data, Google Maps had approximately 81 million users in the U.S.  a year ago. These users were comprised of both Android and iOS users. Now, that number has taken a dive to just 59 million. This is a drop of 22 million users in a single year. Meanwhile, Apple Maps now has an estimated 35 million users, many of which are undoubtedly making the swap from Google Maps.

These numbers indicate that Apple Maps could be growing in popularity among iOS users, which could actually bring about what Apple has been wanting for several years – a complete break from Google Maps. This severing of ties, if it happens, could be the start of the late Steve Jobs’ passion in life of putting Google out of business. While simply losing the Maps users will not be enough to cripple the search engine giant, it will make a definite point that Apple is more than a rival. It will prove that Apple is now a force to be reckoned with in every area of Google’s business, except search.

Watch the video below for a discussion between Erin Kennedy and Evan Niu about Apple Maps’ success and what it means for the company. The segment regarding Maps begins at 4:35.

Is The Deck Stacked Against Apple’s iPad?

We published a report yesterday explaining that iPad had finally been topped in terms of revenue in the tablet market by devices that are Android based. Today, while researching the topic further, I was pointed to an article published early this morning by Apple Insider. The article is titled “The curious case of IDC, Gartner & Strategy Analytics’ PC, phone & tablet data on Apple.”

Daniel Dilger, the author of this piece points out that market research firms have been biased against Apple Inc. for several years. He goes back as far as 2004 in his research to quote articles claiming doom and gloom for the Mac brand as Apple’s market share dropped to less than 2 percent in the global PC market.
Dilger is however, careful to point out that none of the people who thought that Apple was a dying company could see the value of the soon to be launched iPhone, nor did they realize that powerful device would carry Apple to the top of the smartphone market. These people also failed to see the coming of the iPad, a powerful mini-computer that offered everything a Mac offered – on the go.

He claims that research firms have been altering the way they gather data in order to skew public opinion of Apple Inc. By making the terms used to define tablet computers very broad, they can include devices that have no direct bearing on iPad sales. These devices are actually the furthest thing from being competition to Apple’s top notch tablets.

Check out the full article here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

First Problem With iPad Mini With Retina: Image Retention

Reports are surfacing that the new iPad Mini with Retina Display has an issue with image retention. Image retention is where your screen retains shadows of a previously viewed image. Marco Arment created a grid test to check for this problem in the Retina MacBook Pros, noted that his new iPad Mini with Retina Display does in fact have the issue.
The first hint that this could be an issue in the iPad Mini model came last week, when rumors began making the rounds that Sharp’s IGZO panels suffered from burn-in, the condition that causes image retention. The rumors said that this problem was part of the holdup in production on the iPad Mini with Retina Display, and could also be a main contributor to the fact that the device was quietly released online without much fanfare.

Which Devices Are Affected?
The number of devices that are affected by this issue is still not known, but several iPad Mini owners on Twitter have used the grid test and determined that their devices do indeed have the problem. It’s also unclear as to whether this problem stems from specific display suppliers like Sharp, or if it runs across each of the suppliers screens. The reason for this is that not every one of the tablets has the problem, and devices from the same manufacturer often function perfectly, while others may experience the problem to some degree.

Apple Has Seen This Before
Image retention in products with the Retina Display screens has been a problem for Apple Inc. since the original Retina MacBook Pro displays were afflicted with the problem. The MacBook Pro issues were severe, with pieces of images from previously viewed screens hanging on into other screens for several minutes. One important thing to know about image retention is that it is not permanent, like the burn-in often seen on plasma displays.

Most of the time, the image retention problem is not noticeable, and is not necessarily a cause for alarm. However, if your iPad Mini with Retina Display does have the issue, you can return it for another unit, as you’re still in the window to exchange it.

iPad Revenue Falls Behind Android For First Time

For the first time ever, Android tablet sales’ total revenue has surpassed that of the Apple iPad. According to a report from IDC, Google may finally have a leg up on Apple in the tablet market.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty also noted the change in position between the two mobile OS providers.

She wrote a memo to clients on Friday that said, “For the first time, Android devices accounted for a greater share of the market in revenue terms than iOS. Android revenue share reached 46.2 percent in 3Q13, for the first time exceeding iPad share of 45.6 percent. Android’s unit share grew to 66.7 percent from 58.5 percent a year ago, largely driven by Samsung and Lenovo, while iPad share declined to 29.7 percent from 40.2 percent…”

Google Delight Most Likely To Be Short Lived

Both Huberty and IDC note that this rise to the top for Android is most likely not going to be a long term trend. Now that the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display are on the market, IDC says there will be “robust shipment growth” this quarter.

The holidays are just around the corner, and both Apple and its competitors are gearing up for a huge sales season. With many of the stores that sell both iPads and Android based tablets, like the Google Nexus, opening on Thanksgiving Day, it will be interesting to see if Google can maintain its current foothold in the market. Judging from past performance, I feel it is safe to say that iPad will once again reign supreme when the figures come in next quarter. 

Reviews Of iPad Mini With Retina Display

The iPad Mini with Retina Display is finally here, and not a moment too soon. Here's what the top reviewers have to say about the amazing little tablet that could jump-start Apple's holiday sales. - "Beautifully absolute pleasure to use."
CNET - " end tablet...editor's choice."
The Verge - "The one you really wanted."
Apple Insider - "It's an impressive technical achievement."
Engadget - "As good as the Air, just smaller."
MacWorld - "The iPad Mini Apple wishes it could have made in 2012."

Let us know what you think of the new iPad Mini with Retina Display. Does it live up to your expectations?

The Mother Ship Has Landed: Check Out This Video Of Apple's New Campus

Steve Jobs' Dream Campus
Apple Campus 2 will run on 100 percent renewable energy, be designed to boost interaction between employees, and will cost $5 billion.

Apple VS Samsung: iPhone Was “Bet The Company Product”

Apple and Samsung are sworn enemies in the smartphone market. This is no secret and neither of the two tech giants make any attempt to disguise the fact. However, it seems that Apple is doing its dead level best to wring every single cent it can from patent infringement settlements with Samsung. While many people may wonder why this is the case, Phil Schiller gave the answer during testimonies at the patent trial this week.

iPhone Was A Risky Bet
According to Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief, the iPhone was a major risk to Apple when the company decided to release it. In fact, he labeled it as a “bet-the-company” product, indicating that if the iPhone had failed, Apple might not be where it is today.
According to CNet, Schiller told the jury that Apple took “huge risks” in making the iPhone. These risks were tied to the fact that Appl was “starting to do well again in iPod.” It would have made more sense to focus on devices that Apple already knew would sell, but then, that was not Apple’s way.
The risks increased because Apple was “going to invest…resources, financial as well as people, in creating this product.” The product was the iPhone, and it was wildly successful, as we all know. The bet was risky, but it definitely paid off in a big way for the Cupertino company.

Apple Cashes In
It is very easy to forget that Apple, although innovative, has not always been the world dominator that it is now. In fact, all through 2006, the company’s stock was trading at less than $100 per share. However, once the iPhone really began to capture attention, the stock skyrocketed, boosting Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to its current position. The stock has since traded at above $700 per share, and is currently trading at $526 and some change.

If you look at all of Apple’s products, the iPhone is its big money maker. Consumer demand for each new release is still high, and the revenue stream from it is larger than any other products, including iPod, iPad, and Mac computers. It’s no wonder that Apple is strenuously defending the patents surrounding the iPhone and requesting that the courts award the highest settlement possible. After all, Samsung is endangering Apple’s bread and butter.

Icahn Taking Big Bites Of Apple

Carl Icahn, the activist investor that almost every CEO dreads to see in the list of company shareholders, is ready to play hardball with Tim Cook and Apple Inc. Icahn has been pushing for a $150 billion share buyback program that Cook has been putting off. Now, Icahn has revealed that he is holding 3.9 million shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and he’s ready to put the squeeze on.

Icahn’s position in Apple was disclosed to be holdings valued at $2 billion, according to documents filed on Thursday. However, it is expected that his actual holdings will be larger than what was disclosed in the Securities and Exchange filings.

Icahn Pressures Tim Cook
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook received a letter from Carl Icahn last month, requesting that the board boost the stock buyback plan. At the time of the letter, Icahn noted he had increased his holdings to 4.9 million shares. He claims the stock is undervalued, which is what is fueling his aggressive purchases.

The stock buyback plan that Icahn is pressing for is a large increase over the current plan to give out $100 billion in buybacks and dividends. However, Icahn says investors need to see that Apple is willing to give back to those who invest in the company. He feels that Apple is too focused on building its already massive cash reserve, which could be better put to use in re-purchasing shares of the company.

Tell Us What You Think
Should Icahn be pressuring Apple Inc. to boost the buyback program, or is Tim Cook on the right path in building a cash pile for Apple’s coffers? Let us know in the comments below.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Apple Beats Google With Motorola Smartphone Tattoo

Technology has been taking some major leaps in the last few years. The advent of the Apple iPhone brought about a change in the way we use our cell phones to communicate, with many of us relying on them to provide everything from texting to email. Now, it appears that Motorola will be bringing us the nest big advance in the field of mobile technology.
The company, owned by Google Inc., has just received a patent for a something far more interesting than a simple headset or earbud. According to reports, the company has patented a tattoo that can be applied to the throat. This tattoo will be able to connect to a smartphone, much the same way that a Bluetooth headset or earpiece does. Once connected, the tattoo would allow you to control your phone using nothing but your voice.

More Than A Tat
According to the patent, the tattoo would be able to connect to other devices besides phones as well. The theory is that users could incorporate the tattoo into their gaming, Internet surfing, and phone calls by connecting to multiple devices. It would use NFC, Bluetooth, ZigBee, or some other similar communications stream.
Oddly enough, Motorola also claims to be able to use the tattoo on animals. If this is the case, then products like electronic doggy doors may not be far in the future.

Motorola Not The First
While the idea of using a tattoo to control your phone may seem like an outlandish idea, Motorola was not the original creator of such a device. In fact, Nokia patented a similar device last year. The tattoo designed by Nokia is a “vibrating tattoo” that is designed to allow users to “feel” when someone calls them. Personally, I would prefer to simply hear the phone ring and pick it up.

Google, Apple's arch-enemy is also working on a tattoo that can be used in several ways. However, aside from being used to control smartphones, this tattoo could also double as a lie detector. I personally have a list of politicians who should be forced to get this one.

What do you think? Should we be experimenting with tattoos that connect to electronic devices? Let us know in the comments section below.

Tim Cook Places Family Values Above Extra Revenue

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, my hat is off to you today, as I read that you have decided against opening Apple Retail Store locations on Thanksgiving Day. Most CEOs would not have made the decision to remain closed on a major sales day.
According to reports, Apple will NOT be opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day following an announcement from Tim Cook saying that employees need to spend time with their families.

Read the entire article here.

Snapchat Snubs Facebook & Acts Like Nothing Happened

Snapchat is a photo-messaging service that is quickly taking root in the teens and twenty-something age groups. The social networking app is headed up by 23 year old Evan Spiegel, and boasts millions of users. While the network is nowhere near the size of Facebook’s one billion plus users, it is large enough that Facebook is interested in acquiring it.
Facebook reportedly offered Spiegel $3 billion for Snapchat, in an effort to make the photo-sharing service a branch of Facebook’s massive portfolio that also includes Instagram, another photo-sharing service. The offer was most likely sparked by reports earlier this month that teen usage on Facebook is dropping, while Snapchat is quickly gaining ground in this particular market.

Business As Usual
According to reports, Evan Spiegel turned Facebook’s offer down flat, and continued on with his daily routine. Imagine turning down $3 billion at the tender age of 23!
It appears that Snapchat is being courted by several investors, and now that knowledge of a huge offer from Facebook is on the public table, the company hopes to obtain a better offer from someone else. Up until just last month the company was based in a beachfront house in Venice Beach, California. Now it could be headed for the big leagues and a home in the Silicon Valley, depending on who decides to shell out enough cash to purchase it.

Snapchat App

Snapchat is an application that allows users to text and send photos via its instant messaging feature. The difference between Snapchat and most photo sharing apps is that the pictures and messages disappear after they have been viewed, which makes it very popular among teen agers. This feature, combined with its ease of use makes the app one of the hottest items on the market now, and Facebook was hoping to cash in on the hype surrounding it. However, it appears that Zuckerberg will have to either fork out more cash, or find another app to take over, because Snapchat has completely snubbed the offer.

Apple May Release The iWatch In Two Screen Sizes

According to DisplaySearch, a supply chain analysis firm, Apple Inc. is planning to release an “iWatch.” David Hsieh, an analyst at the firm, says that Apple will be releasing the new product with two screen options to choose from. According to Hsieh, the iWatch will sport an OLED display and will come in a 1.7 inch screen size for men and a 1.3 inch screen size for women.
If Apple Inc. is truly working on an iWatch, and all indications are that this is the case, then branching into wearable computers is a whole new market. This will be the first time Apple has gone beyond making accessories that compliment consumers’ clothing choices, and actually added something to the wardrobe.

iWatch Rumor Mill
iWatch rumors have been making the rounds for quite some time. However, up until now, there has been no indication that the company was actually planning to launch such a product. According to Apple Insider these rumors have “picked up significantly in 2013.” The report goes on to say that Apple has “a team of more than 100 employees working on the project and has snapped up industry experts in fashion, wearable devices, and fitness throughout the year.”
It appears that the iWatch will be more than just a watch, or a wearable iPod. The smartwatch will feature a full arsenal of biometric sensors, and it is even possible that the iWatch will function as a standalone product, rather than requiring it to be linked to something else. This watch will be a direct competitor of the Samsung Galaxy Gear, a smartwatch manufactured by Apple’s biggest competitor in the mobile device world.

iWatch Benches Apple TV
Last year rumors of Apple Inc. attempting to work out a deal with cable companies to market its Apple TV as a standalone product were making the rounds. While it was apparently true that Apple was trying to create such a deal, it appears that all of that has been put on hold in lieu of the iWatch project.
According to Paul Gagnon, another display search analyst, the choice to focus on the iWatch is the best one due to consumer interest waning in a television product. He said, “Indeed, the existing Apple TV box may be an impediment to Apple’s success with a smart TV product, which as a category, is not growing in the U.S. as man had hoped for. Our most recent smart TV forecast is that they will only account for about a quarter of TV shipments in 2013, and grow very slowly from there, with the focus on low-end premium models.”

iWatch Is Coming

iWatch will most likely be announced early next year, and then launched later on. For now, Apple Inc. has yet to confirm the development of the product, but we all know that just because the Cupertino tech giant doesn’t admit to having something, doesn’t mean they don’t. Until the iWatch is announced by Apple, we will have to simply keep checking the rumors out. Some will be true, and some will not, but that is why the anticipation builds to such a frenzy with each new Apple product.